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Is it your apperarance? personality? what’s the problem? The 5 reasons you are not “chosen” — in January issue of Anan. ANAN is beauty and fashion magazine for twenty-something year old women. Its kinda like a … well, can’t really think of a equivalent but it’s kind of like a Japanese version of Cosmo or Glamour (though not much about sex)

I found this article while I was preparing up for the TV interview that I mentioned, and was totally shocked to find that I totally fit in the 5 reasons AnAn lists out in the magazine. I’m going to translate the article so you can check if you have any attribute that are unfit to be “chosen” for a partner in Tokyo Meet Market.

How unlikely it is for you to be “chosen”!?

  • I usually wear dark colored clothes – black, gray and other dark colors
  • I do not have male siblings
  • I sometimes reply to SMS more than a day after receiving it
  • Perfect nails and perfect hairstyle is a necessity for hanging out with any guys
  • I have more than 3 hobbies that I’m serious about
  • My hobby includes one of the followings: golf, traveling, wine tasting
  • I have no time for myself and spend most of the time at home and at work
  • I do not hesitate talking about my past relationship to other men
  • I cannot help being nosy about other people’s business
  • I would like to travel abroad at least once a year after I Get married
  • I know what kind of man I want to marry (in terms of occupation)
  • I cannot make the first move even if I like somone

How many of the above statements applied to you?

0 – 3: 30% risk to be not chosen
No need to worry so much at the moment. But to avoid the risk of never being chosen by men, you should be aware of the risks and prevent the risk ASAP

4-7: 50% risk to be not chosen
There’s still a chance to improve your chance. But if you don’t change yourself and age more, you would nbe helpless.  Let’s look at your current life style and improve your chance to be chosen

more than 8: 80% risk to be not chosen
You are at a serious risk of not being chosen by men. You must not be stubborn to your current lifestyle and redeem yourself. The first tep can still be taken?

How many of the above criteria applied to you? Apparently, I have 50% risk… because I wear dark colors, don’t have male siblings, don’t reply to SMS immediately, traveling is my hobby, want to continue traveling after marriage, don’t always make the first move…. because I’m a normal human being with my own taste??

But apparently, that’s the thing about being an “attractive Japanese woman” for Japanese men. You don’t necessary have to have beauty, intelligence, humor, hot body, or good taste. You just be easy going, great listener, nice, and willing to take care of him and the household. I cannot believe it, I cannot believe this woman’s magazine is actually promoting the idea of such boring low standard without telling us to be confident, be who we are, enjoy life. What’s wrong with wearing sophisticated black or grey? what’s wrong with seeing the world, traveling around, eating great food, enjoying life? Is this magazine really going to tell us how to be a boring women JUST so that we get “chosen” by some boring men to be a boring housewife?

This issue of AnAn is VERY intersting, it’s all about building konkatsu strategy for 2010. I will translate few more articles from the magazine in the next few days.

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Just found a funny article written by a professional Konkatsu activist, on men’s fashion in Konkatsu. First of all, I don’t know what it means to be a “professional” in Konkatsu, or why he calls himself a “professional.” If he’s so good at konkatsu, he would have gotten married even without konkatsu, and if he’s pursued the art of konkatsu so much to call himself a “professional” he probably sucks at it and we should not be even listening to this poor man’s opinion.

In any case, he’s a “professional” at Konkatsu and he advises men for all the things you should not be wearing in Konkatsu. The turn-off clothing and accessories for women. He even made a nice illustration of these items (who would wear them all at once) and he is:

List of turn-off fashion

  • Bags : According to a study conducted by advisers at match making agencies and konkatsu set up agencies, the top 3 “No-Nos of men’s fashion” for women are all bags: 1) backpack (20%) 2) handbag (15.8%) 3) belt bag (15%). Men should not be carrying any kind of bag to Konkatsu activities
  • golden necklace : makes you look to getto
  • white socks: mommy’s boy
  • cell phone with too much decorations, hang around your neck
  • shopping bags to carry books and other necessity
  • a belt with weird belt buckle
  • a shirt tucked into pants

Hmm… I kind of agree with the list though. As I was translating, I did agree that most of them would be turn-offs. And I found some Japanese blogger took a picture of himself wearing all the above list, to put the illustration into reality. Pretty damn, but I thought it was funny. He actually goes around his neighborhood and stops at a shop to buy a magazine, just to see if he gets weird looks. But at the end of the day he comes home and concludes, it’s not all THAT about fashion! Here’s the link to the blog

It’s been nearly 2 years since the word Konkatsu was first developed by the authors of “The Era of Marriage Hunting.” And yet, Konkatsu is still a buzzword for Japanese media. The concept has been featured in magazines and books, popularizing the idea that we need to be strategic about finding a life partner. More and more books have been published on the strategy building, more konkatsu products to give young men and women entertainment for konkatsu events. Even shrines are getting in on the konkatsu boom. Businesses ranging from matchmaking services to lingerie makers to professional baseball teams to bakeries to toy factories are trying to fill the romance void.

I have already introduced some of the Konkatsu products: (Konkatsu bra, konkatsu baseball, konkatsu cake) But recently, I found that there have been many more NEW konkatsu related products in the market so I’m gonna introduce these new inventions here. Just for the fun of it.

Compulsory marriage registration kit
This wonderful package includes everything you need to force your boyfriend into marriage registration. “Compulsory marriage registration kit” is latest konkatsu product in the market since December 15th 2009, sold from a diamond store called Sakha diamond. For just $90, the package includes:

  • a proposal ring (cubic zirconia ring, not a diamond)
  • a piggy bank to fill it with 500 JPY coin (=$5) to buy the girl a real diamond engagement ring
  • a written oath for him to promise to buy a real diamond engagement ring (which would be a discount coupon at the time of his real purchase)
  • marriage registration paper and a ink-pad (in Japan, we don’t put signature, we use a stamp with last name)
  • an alarm clock to enter the dead line date and time for wedding

The complete set to force him to marry you! All you need is a strong urge to get married, his address, and a credit card. The process is very simple, you can order the package in the Sakha diamond website, they will deliver the package to your boyfriend’s apartment, he will propose to you with cubic zirconia ring (if you are happy with it, no need to bother with the piggy bank and written oath to make him buy diamond), fill out the marriage registration paper and bring it to the city hall! How easy and simple to finally force him into marriage!

Compulsory proposal kit
Now, if you are the kind of girl with a little more sense and pride, you may not want to force him into marriage with the above products. But maybe, just may be, you wish you could get him to propose to you so at  least you don’t have to worry “where is this all going!” Then Sakha Diamond store also offers Compulsory proposal kit for just $80 (you see, it’s a little cheaper to get him propose to you than to marry you)

The proposal kit has been on the market a little longer than the marriage kit, and is also available on the website for purchase for just $80. The proposal kit is similar to the marraige kit, just doesn’t come with marriage registration paper or the alarm clock. It will allow him a bit more time to get comfortable with the idea of marrying a girl who got him a proposal kit, I guess. The proposal kit, then, includes:

  • a proposal ring (cubic zirconia ring, not a diamond)
  • a piggy bank to fill it with 500 JPY coin (=$5) to buy the girl a real diamond engagement ring
  • a written oath for him to promise to buy a real diamond engagement ring (which would be a discount coupon at the time of his real purchase)

Best of all, both of the products are refundable, if your boyfriend did not propose to you after all that you have tried. If no proposal after 8 days of thedelivery to the boyfriend, the proposal kit/marriage kit are refundable if you have the guts to get it back from his apartment and bring it back to the store that “it did not work.”  You will then, be refunded with $50 cash and a pair of movie ticket to bring your next potential husband! whooray! (or I recommend going to see “he’s just not that into you”)

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Finally, CNN coverage on Japan’s marriage hunting!

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My friend from New York (this girl) recently contacted me with a link to wallstreet journal article saying “i saw this article on the front page of the wall street journal and was reminded of your genius sociological observations!”

I won’t call myself “genius”, but I must admit I’m a little proud of myself for being such a trend spotter.

Ever since I started this blog to explore Tokyo Meet Market and its gokon stories and konkatsu frenziness, it seems the international media has also started to pay more and more attention to new Tokyo Meet Market. With the introduction of the new word “konkatsu,” the world seems to be more and more interested in what’s going on in the Tokyo Meet Market.

And here are some interesting articles that I have seen in the international media:

June 29th

Japan’s Latest Fad: Spouse-Hunting
http://www.newser.com/story/63090/japans-latest-fad-spouse-hunting.html

Japan Has a New Name for the Mating Game: Konkatsu - Wall street Journal
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124623617832566695.html

July 13th

Fad or crisis? Japan’s ‘marriage hunting’ craze – Diva
http://www.divaasia.com/article/4374

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July 11th and 12th Nippon Ham vs Lotte game in Sapporo baseball stadium…

The studio was full of female watching the male audiences, not the baseball game in the stadium. “Konkatsu seats,” or baseball watching in the baseball stadium was organized by baseball team Nippon Ham to give an opportunity for baseball fans to meet potential partners during baseball game.

Originally, they had availability of 400 seats for the two days, but due to the increasing number of applicants, Nippon Ham increased the number of availability to 600. 2860 single men and women applied for the Konkatsu seats, and the lucky 600 were able to join the game on the July 11th and again on 12th. The konkatsu seats enjoyed all sorts of entertainment in addition to the baseball game.

The weekend began with 11am at the reception area for the baseball stadium. Before the start of the game, the 300 boys and girls (all have to be over 18) together raised their flags and cheered for the victory of Nippon Ham.  During the game, the boys were asked to rotate their seats to meet as many women as possible.  The baseball day ends with a lottery where a random couples (with matching cards) win trip to vacation, pair baseball tickets, pair baseball t-shirts and they have to search for the matching partner with the matching card to win the prize.  But the biggest prize prepared for the audiences was a chance to throw at the opening pitch ceremony… IF you marry the partner you met in the Konkatsu seat… that is. The fever and excitement in the konkatsu seat were shown in the center TV screen in the stadium, and even the players themselves could not help paying attention to what’s going on in the audience seat.

The news reports that out of the 600 bachelors and bacheloretts, on Saturday the 11th, 28 couples went home happily hand in hand, and 34 couples went home happily on the following day. Due to great success and overwhelming popularity, Nippon Ham is already planning a second round of Konkatsu game for the summer.

TKY200907110194

On Wednesday, A Shibuya-based dot-com venture CyberAgent launched a free mobile SNS, named “Otokonoko Bokujo (a.k.a. Otoboku)” meaning boys pasture, targeting females in konkatsu (marriage-hunt). “Boys pasture” was setup to promote communication among women and to help them through the tough road of konkatsu.

This website “Boys pasture” is stirring up controversy among the internet bloggers and the media. The site has been highly criticized for allowing females to treat males as livestock. The website is essentially a cattle fair for eligible bachelors.  Much of the criticism mention it is immoral to represent males by animal icons of cows, horses and lambs.

CyberAgent has defended “Boys pasture” explaining that the site title was named after the recent boom for  grass-eating boys. They report that none of their male employees felt the site title was inapropriate,  the service supervisor judged it was cleared for launch. The company is now taking account of renaming the title.

So what is this “Boys pasture” about?

This konkatsu site allows female users to upload profiles of their male friends. Then the female members can evaluate the profiles of other female users’ male friends as if they are cattles or horses.  This is how it works:

  1. a female user signs up for an account of the service
  2. she will upload portraits and profiles of her male friends to her own “virtual pasture” set up on the site The registered men appear as horses, cows and sheeps in the virtual “farm”
  3. she can categorize each of her male friends by his characterestics like flirty / tough, and carnivorous / herbivorous depending on how aggressively he approaches to a female and each of the male friends is represented by an animal icon such as a horse or cow (which may make you think that males are being treated as livestock bred by females
  4. when a female user makes connections with her female friends on the site, they will be allowed to browse portraits and profiles of eachother’s male friends

The website is also under attack for its privacy protection issues. Because the portraits and the profiles of a female user’s male friends are uploaded and browsed by female users, without the males approval.

I’m wondering if I should express how I personally feel about this site since I have so much to say about it….  sigh…

otoboku


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What is Tokyo Meet Market?

From the Western perspective, what goes on in the Japanese dating scene is really different and interesting! In this shy nation of Japan, meeting new people is almost institutionalized, dating and romance is littered with conventions that protect people from social awkwardness. What are dating conventions and rules in Japan? How do the shy Japanese people meet new people, develop affection, and express their passion? As I research and answer these question, I will write a real time report of what's going on in the Tokyo dating scene, or the "Tokyo Meet Market" here in this blog. I hope you enjoy my blog and a trip around Tokyo Meet Market with me!

Cherie’s tweets

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